Large Billed Reed Warbler Thought to be Extinct, in Afghanistan
The Large Billed Reed Warbler, which was thought to be extinct and is one of the world's rarest species of bird has been found again - in war ravaged Afghanistan.
The bird has been spotted in the north-east of the country and is so rare that it has only been seen three times in the last 150 years in a few places around the world. The first recorded sighting was in 1867. Scientists in Afghanistan now have been able to locate its habitat and are hoping they can protect the bird.
Bird watchers thought this species had been lost forever, but previously recorded songs from this bird have verified that some are still flying and the species is not extinct.
The first recent sighting was when American bird expert Robert Timmins was commissioned to catalogue birds in Badakhshan in north eastern Afghanistan for the charity USAID.
He spotted the bird in one of his trips during 2008 and managed to record it.
A few birds were again spotted in June last year by the Wildlife Conservation Society of Afghanistan and they think some birds were released in to the area in the 1930s.
They think that north-eastern Afghanistan was where the birds were released and bred over 70 years ago.
Prof Olsson said the findings were important in the conservation of the species.
"The large-billed reed warbler is not hunted but regarded as being under acute threat since its breeding sites are being deforested but the local population in their hunt for fuel," he said.